Going out to eat is typically an enjoyable experience, but if you recently underwent a weight loss procedure and want to keep your diet on track, dining out can sometimes be more stressful than enjoyable. However, if you approach dining out with the right mindset and come in with a plan, we’re confident that you’ll be able to navigate the restaurant scene without jeopardizing your weight loss progress. Below, we share some tips for avoiding weight gain while dining out.
Weight Management Tips While Dining Out
Here are some tips for keeping your weight loss journey on track when you go out to eat.
- Explore The Menu Early – Unless you’re one of those people who just gets in the car and drives until a restaurant catches your eye, odds are you’ll know at least a little bit in advance where you’ll be eating. In today’s day and age, almost all restaurants have their menu available on their website or somewhere online. Look at the menu before you get to the restaurant so you have a little more time to find a healthy option. This can also help you plan ahead in the event that you have any diet restrictions.
- Go For Green – If you’re in the thick of your weight loss journey, odds are you’re quite familiar with green vegetables, and they can be a great option while dining out. You can order a salad as your main dish, or you can swap out an unhealthy side for a side salad. Healthy fibrous vegetables will help fill you up so you don’t overeat when you’re dining out.
- Eat Throughout The Day – Don’t try to save up calories throughout the day because you know that you’re going out to eat later. If you’re starving when you get to the restaurant, you’re more likely to choose unhealthy options and to overeat. Eat healthy meals throughout the day and don’t be afraid to snack ahead of time so that you’re not overly hungry by the time you sit down at the restaurant.
- Stick With Water – You may not have a lot of juices or sodas at your house, especially if you’re on a diet, but odds are the restaurant will have an array of beverages to choose from. As tempting as it may be, stick to water. Soda is full of sugar and empty calories, while water can help you feel full and won’t add unnecessary calories. Carbonated beverages and alcohol can also increase your risk of acid reflux or heartburn, which can be more common if you’re recently undergone a weight loss procedure. Stick to water when dining out.
- Avoid Buffets – As you can imagine, an endless buffet is not a great place to dine if you’re in the midst of a weight loss plan. Avoid buffets or suggest a different restaurant if one is being considered.
- Order First – Studies have shown that we can be influenced based on the choices of our peers. If everyone else at the table is ordering a burger or chicken wings, you may be more likely to call a last minute audible and go with an unhealthy option. If you order first, you won’t be influenced by those who order after you. It’s easy to think that you won’t be influenced, but you can help yourself with this process by ordering first.
- Slow Down – It can be easy to dive right into a great meal, but take your time and savor every bite. You’re more likely to overeat if you eat your food quickly because you may not realize you’re full until it’s too late. Slow down, chew your food, indulge others with conversation and listen to the signs from your body that suggest you’re full. Get the rest to go, and you’ll be able to enjoy your great meal again in the future!
If you keep these tips in mind and talk about any concerns you have with your weight loss team, we’re confident that you’ll be able to enjoy dining out without fear of losing all the progress you’ve made. For more information, or for help with a different weight loss issue, reach out to Dr. Bhatti and the team at The Bhatti Weight Loss Center today at (952) 368-3800.